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Understand Your Learning Style

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Author: Carla Abraham


Knowing your learning style can help you maximize your learning potential.  It is a self-assessment tool which can show you your unique way of taking in and making sense of the world around you.

There are various self-assessment tools and theories regarding learning styles but the most popular model is the Index of Learning Styles created by Richard Felder, Linda Silverman and Barbara Solomon. This model is founded on the idea that each person has an individualized method of learning which falls into one of four following dimensions.

  • Active and Reflective Learners: Active learners prefer tactile or active manipulation and work best in groups. Reflective learners tend to think quietly about  information before sharing or discussing it with others.
  • Sensing and Intuitive Learners: Sensory learners tend to like learning facts where intuitive learners gravitate towards conceptual and theoretical ideas. They strive to understand meaning and relationships.
  • Visual and Verbal Learners: Visual learners like concrete and visual stimuli such as graphs, pictures and charts. Verbal learners prefer verbal explanations and to read information for themselves.
  • Sequential and Global Learners: Sequential learners learn best with linear models of information where global learners look at life with a holistic perspective.

To learn more about the Felder’s Index of Learning Styles,  you can download the  Learning Styles Index Handout.  The handout consists of 4 pages and describes each learning style in more detail. To read publications and learn more about the Felder-Silverman model of learning styles.

To help you understand your individual learning style, you can take this 5-minute assessment to identify your preferred learning style and receive study tips for your learning style.